Seeds for Bees Opens Enrollment June 1
By Cecilia Parsons | Affiliate Editor
Almond growers, and growers of different tree nuts, must be conscious that June 1 is the primary day of open enrollment within the Seeds for Bees program. Rory Crowley, new Director of Habitat Packages for Seeds for Bees, stated program enrollment will solely be open for 3 months. Crowley stated his purpose is to see 15,000 cowl crop acres planted in 2022.
Seeds for Bees is a Challenge Apis m. nonprofit program that encourages growers to help honeybee and soil well being by planting cowl crops in and close to orchards that bloom previous to, throughout and after almond bloom.
This program is for California producers. growers submit an utility and, if eligible, take part in a one-on-one technical help session. This program has historically focused almond growers, however Crowley stated that growers of wind-pollinated crops could also be thought-about for enrollment primarily based on extra data. There’s now a two-acre minimal, however contributors from final 12 months will stay eligible.
“We wish cowl crop on all landscapes and take into accounts neighboring crops,” Crowley stated.
The purpose of Seeds for Bees is to supply density, length and variety of forage for managed honeybees in business crops when pure forage is scarce. The 5 seed mixes supplied in this system are aimed toward offering nutritious pollinator forage previous to almond bloom in addition to after bloom.
“More healthy bees imply stronger colonies and higher pollination,” Crowley stated. Preliminary analysis has proven that almond orchards with sturdy cowl crops might enhance bee productiveness throughout pollination, leading to a possible enhance of 80 to 120 kilos per acre. In different phrases, previous to and after the almond bloom, supplemental forage can present the mandatory vitamins to construct wholesome and vigorous colonies for pollination of your crop.
Crowley stated timing of planting is an important a part of Seeds for Bees. Seed planted in October germinates and is blooming when honeybees arrive in orchards in late January or early February.
This 12 months Seeds for Bees is providing extra funding totally free seed with general seed orders for first- and second-year contributors. This 12 months there can be $2500 in free seed off general seed purchases for first-year contributors and $1500 for second-year contributors.
As a result of Seeds for Bees is nonprofit, buys seed in excessive volumes and pays for delivery, growers can capitalize on massive pricing reductions by means of this system. “We move on our quantity, nonprofit and delivery reductions to the grower; we have now an enormous aggressive benefit that straight advantages producers’ pocketbooks,” Crowley stated.
He additionally stated seed might be bought by means of the Seeds for Bees program at wholesale costs with free delivery, however there may be restricted availability with every of the mixes earmarked for buy exterior of the free seed program.
Relying on the kind of planting technique used, no-till drill or broadcast, the width of the planting strip and the Seeds for Bees combine, the free seed might translate to upwards of 150 acres of canopy crop planted within the first 12 months.